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Puppies require a lot of time and attention. They need you to care for them, love them, spend time with them, teach them and just be their best friend. You wouldn’t leave a baby isolated – spending most of his time by himself – and you should not isolate your puppy, either. Four-legged babies need to be with the family inside and outside the house. Training helps puppies learn how to behave in both environments.

But there are many more responsibilities that come with a puppy and they require a budget month-after-month and year-after-year if you expect to have a healthy, happy dog and a functional household.

Here is a partial list of necessary supplies -- a guideline of accessories and services. Costs vary from region-to-region, but a good bet is $700 to $1200 a year depending on geographic location and the size of your dog. Some say the average lifespan of a dog is ten years and I know dogs who are a lot older. For a normal dog’s life, figure $8000 to $10,000 and a lot more if your dog develops a disease like diabetes or needs major surgery.

Puppy Supplies

Food dish (Weighted and non-slip)
Water dish (Weighted and non-slip)
Leash (Consider the size of your dog. Puppies that are toy and small breeds should have lighter weight leashes than larger breeds. For safety, leashes should be well-made and strong enough for your dog.)
Training collar (Standard and large breeds need a smooth metal link training collar. Toy and very small breeds or dogs with delicate necks should use a nylon collar rather than a metal one. Uncle Matty never uses shock collars or pronged collars.)
Collar (A regular collar is important and should provide a place for your dog’s ID information including your contact number.)
Wire crate (With sheepskin bottom or rug for crate training and limited, proper confinement. Large enough for your growing puppy – dog must be able to stand up in the crate and turn around. Your puppy must be able to see out of the crate on all sides. Do not use a plastic travel crate for crate training.)
Sleeping area with bedding (Safest and most comfy place is the wire crate mentioned above with a sheepskin insert in the bottom. Yawn. Yawn.)
Teething soothers (Puppies are teething until six months of age. Be sure you help your puppy soothe those sore gums with a reusable Fill-‘N-Freeze Bone or simply rinse wash cloths in cold water, wring out the excess and place the twisted rags in your freezer. When doggy needs some relief, give him a frozen washcloth. When the cloth your puppy is chewing has thawed, take it away from the dog so he cannot chew and eat it. Ice cubes may also be a solution.)
Toys (Look for fun, challenging and safe toys. There are doggy educational toys, challenging toys that hide special treats and secrets, safe chews and toys that cannot be pulled apart easily. Dogs should have several toys and they should be challenged with playtime that includes your participation.

Click here and shop for Puppy training kits, housebreaking kits, valuable books, videos, accessories and safe toys and chews.

Veterinarian Care and Puppy Shots

You should select a qualified veterinarian before you bring your puppy home. Get recommendations from dog owners in the neighborhood. Find a vet who is not too far from your home and one who is a D.V.M. or V.M.D. You will find good information that may help you select a good veterinarian at this government sponsored site.

One of the first things you should do is have your new puppy checked by your veterinarian and if the little one has not had his series of shots, that is a must. They should be initiated right away when the puppy is from six to nine weeks of age. Shots are then administered every three weeks until the puppy is four to six months of age. No puppy should be exposed to strange dogs until the series of shots are complete. Cost for the series can be as much as $80 to $100. Neutering or spaying should also be anticipated. Annual normal veterinary costs are about $200.

Puppy Food
Puppies need adequate nutrition for their rapidly growing bodies. Consult with your veterinarian about the dietary needs for your particular dog. Then stick with the same food type and brand. This provides important diet consistency and also helps avoid upset tummies and diarrhea that can be caused by changing food and brands. $400 to $500 a year is a good estimate for the cost of food. Of course there is a big difference between feeding a Chihuahua and a German Shepherd Dog.

Puppy Training & Problem Solving
Web sites that list costs of owning a puppy or a dog often do not include training as a necessity and this can lead some dog owners to believe that puppies outgrow their problems without training. The truth is, they grow into them. Little problems grow up to be big bad habits if they are not nipped in the bud. And then of course, the problems are a lot more difficult to solve. Naturally, you want to select a qualified dog trainer like Uncle Matty who uses love, praise and affection as positive motivation – a trainer who will bring out the best in your puppy. You can speak with Uncle Matty about one-on-one training throughout California by calling 800-670-9663. 

If you live outside Uncle Matty's normal training area, you can talk to Uncle Matty at 800-670-9663 about telephone consultations or one-on-one training if you want him to travel to your home. Otherwise, if you live outside California, USA, get recommendations. Interview trainers and obtain a list of references and clients. Visit the trainer and watch him or her as they work with dogs.

In-home training is the best solution because most problems occur in the home and that's the best place to solve them. If you are home and can work with your dog on a daily basis, choose in-home training with a trainer. If you are not able to be consistent and work with your dog and the trainer, then you should consider in-kennel training at a qualified facility.

In-Home training costs more in metropolitan areas than in smaller communities. Uncle Matty training is customized to the needs of the dog and the owner. A chat with Matthew will help determine the costs. 

If a professional trainer is not possible, the next best thing is working with your own dog using recommended step-by-step books and videos like Uncle Matty's Basic Training Video Set. Uncle Matty's Basic Training Video Set or his exclusive training and problem solving kits. Regardless, training is essential if you are to communicate with your dog and enjoy the best that dog ownership can provide. Plan on spending from $30 to $150 for books and videos.  

The cost of licensing your dog depends on your community. Be sure you get the appropriate dog license and especially the tags for your dog’s collar in case your pooch is ever lost. Usually $10 to $20 a year.

If you do not groom your own dog, the only other choice is a professional groomer. Some veterinary offices include a grooming service. Long-haired dogs require daily brushing and more grooming than others. All dogs need regular bushing and a bathing routine. Some dogs’ skins are more sensitive than others and grooming products as well as the frequency of a bath are dictated by the needs of each dog. A trip to the groomer varies from size of dog to services provided. Usually the minimum would be $25.

Boarding or Pet Sitting
If you go out of town and do not take your dog, and you are not able to leave your dog with a responsible friend or relative, you need a quality boarding facility. Pets should not be left alone for long periods of time. Check out the kennel facility before boarding your pet. Kennel areas should be kept clean. There should be one dog per run in a safe, enclosed environment. Dogs should be exercised daily in an area that provides safety. They should also enjoy playtime. Most important, there should always be a responsible person at the kennel caring for the animals 24/7. Your dog's diet should remain the same and if the kennel cannot provide the type and brand of food, be sure you provide that for your dog's stay. Boarding will be from $12 to $20 or more a day including food.  Your dog will be less stressed the first time you leave him at the kennel if you take him to the boarding facility for a few hours a couple of different days before you depart. A single overnight may also be a good idea. .